BVNW defeats Saint Thomas Aquinas for the first time in 12 years, on senior night

The girls varsity soccer team defeated Saint Thomas Aquinas High School 1-0 on senior night, on April 25.


Prior to the girls varsity soccer game against Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, senior Abby Allen was recognized along with three other seniors, on April 25.

Quinn Brown, Writer

Before the girls varsity soccer game against the Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints, seniors Ellie Gibson, Bailey Thompson, Abby Allen and Regan Priest were recognized for the Huskies’ senior night. After the game, head coach Michelle Pothoven remarked on the 2023 group of senior girls.

“They are such an incredible group of girls. They battle for us on the field, and for how hard they battle, they are better people than they are players. When you watch them play, you know how heavy that statement is,” Pothoven said.

Earlier this season, the Huskies lost to Saint Thomas Aquinas 4-1. Senior captain Abby Allen explained the team’s mindset going into the rematch.

“I think we just came out and knew we were going to be the underdogs in this game, so we knew we had nothing to lose,” Allen said. “Even from the very beginning everyone wanted to fight for the seniors, which I really appreciated. I’m really happy that our team fought for all of us tonight.”

Going into the game, the team switched their formation from a three-back to a four-back, which according to Pothoven likely contributed to their success.

“If we can put the ball in [then] we can defend and hold and that’s what they did. We pulled a girl off from offense and put her on defense, and she fit in really well,” Pothoven said. “It gives us a little more stability but also the width to go forward, which is what we’ve been looking for.”

During halftime the score was tied 0-0. According to Allen, the team discussed making sure to keep their spirits up and battle for the ball every chance they got.

“We had a ‘we can do this’ mindset while we were in the huddle. We said ‘that was a good half, next half needs to be a great half.’ And that [if] we can just keep fighting, it’ll come,” Allen said.

Additionally, goalkeeper and junior captain Sian-Nimu Karani said the entire team needed to help out on defense in order to have a shot at defeating the Saints.

“I think that defending as a team, not just the backline but the midfield and the forwards [is important]. Everyone did a good job of defending as a team and staying as a compact unit,” Karani said.

With 21:08 minutes left in the second half, sophomore Rachel King scored off a corner kick, making the score 1-0, putting the Huskies in the lead. 

The score would remain 1-0 throughout the rest of the game, resulting in the Huskies defeating the Saints. According to Karani, the seniors contributed not just to the game against Saint Thomas Aquinas, but the entire season too.

“Abby Allen, honestly she’s like a mom on the team, and all these seniors, they’re so fun to be around. Seeing Ellie will brighten you up instantly. Being around Bailey is so much fun. And Priest, I love playing with her. I love having the seniors around, they’re great teammates,” Karani said.

According to Pothoven, the team proved how teamwork and encouragement define victories. Additionally, she said the last time BVNW beat Aquinas was in 2011, making the win especially exciting.

“We asked the girls to battle, something we’ve been talking about and they did it tonight. They played together, we looked good,” Pothoven said. “We’ve told our girls, ‘you need to believe that when you play together you can beat anybody’ and they did tonight.”

As the postseason approaches, Pothoven said the team will use this win as motivation for future games.

 “We have talked about how we need to peak at the right time. Now’s a great time to start…The girls have been up for anything we’ve been willing to try and they work hard when we ask them too. I’m really proud,” Pothoven said.

According to Allen, she feels grateful to play with this year’s group of varsity girls and has loved being a part of BVNW soccer team throughout her four years here.

I love this team, I love the people and the energy. I’m going to miss all the people next year a lot and I felt really proud to be a Northwest Husky tonight when I was being recognized as a senior,” Allen said.